Thursday, June 22, 2006

from meatballs to hazelnuts

A while back, I was in some ethnic market, and saw a can of beans that said alubia on it (as part of the spanish text). I was really excited because lubia is the word for bean in Persian. First of all, I had never heard this word -- the only word I knew for bean in Spanish was frijol. Secondly, it's rare to find connections between Persian and Spanish. Because of the 'a' at the beginning of the Spanish, I assumed in this case that the link was Arabic.

Of course, I went to the trusty intertron to corroborate. And I found a great Spanish etymology site. And along with more on alubia, I found another one that kind of blew my mind. Albóndigas. As in the little meatballs in the soup. As expected, also comes from Arabic. But. Arabic for what? Apparently, bunduqa or something like that is the arabic word for hazelnut. The small round shape of the meatball is like a hazelnut. But. The Persian word for hazelnut is fandoq. Clearly related to bunduqa. How random -- a connection between the Spanish for the little meatballs you get with the stiff/cheap/delicious margaritas over at El Coyote on Beverly and the hazelnuts my mom has been drying, roasting, and salting herself every year for Passover so as to be absolutely sure that outside processing has left them with no trace of leavening. Pretty cool -- to me anyway...

Anyway, here's the site:

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